Across the Dead Earth is a Post-Apocalyptic skirmish wargame from Dead Earth Games. Three generations on from The Last War, pockets of mankind roam the ghost towns and ruins of humanity, looting and fighting for profit, glory, dominance and their very lives Across the Dead Earth.
Assemble your Gang of deadly warriors and embark on campaigns to win loot, territory or simply glory, as you upgrade your Gang and their equipment from game to game, building a persistent and truly personalised Gang, honed to your style of play.
We currently have 5 Gangs available to buy from our Store page, although miniatures from other manufacturers will also serve perfectly well. Pictured here are painted members of the Red Claw Gang.
The rulebook is available now. Including 87 full colour pages with fabulous illustrations by Filip Dudek, Raul Santos and Pijus Baksys, the book includes not only all the rules you’ll need to play the game, but also background on the post-apocalyptic Former-United Kingdom and character cards and stats for several Gangs, including all those available now.
Gangs generally consist of between 5 and 8 members, who may be simple grunts to begin with, or may have a specialist Class. Even a lowly Grunt may rise to become a deadly Sharpshooter or fast-paced Scout over the course of a campaign. Each of the classes (Leader, Medic, Assault, Sharpshooter, Scout etc.) has it’s own unique abilities, and each has a Talent Tree allowing the learning of new talents and abilities in-between games in exchange for Points. Points are gained in game by killing enemies, finding loot or capturing territory. As well as learning new Talents for your Gang members, or recruiting new members to your Gang, you can kit them up with rare and exciting weapons, weapon modifications and equipment, when the between game Travelling Trader has them.
Basic Gameplay Video
The Last War and the Dead Earth
The Last War was not just a nuclear apocalypse, although many of the great cities and indeed entire countries were all but destroyed by nuclear warheads. In the Formerly United Kingdom, most of the population was wiped out be chemical weapons, and towns and villages still stand as they were three generations ago, or slowly crumbling back into the Earth, reclaimed by nature. Across mainland Europe, Gangs fight for survival against hordes of the shambling husks of the Sollus – the unknowingly dead and in the Disunited States the war rages on, both civilly and against Russia, across a nuclear wasteland.
Across the Dead Earth therefore allows you to utilise almost any terrain set-up you already have. You may want to represent small villages, virtually unchanged since the wars of the 20th Century or even before, fight across the ruins of the greater Cities or in newly build settlements constructed of salvage.
A Sharpshooter takes up position on an old ruined industrial tower.
Across the Dead Earth has been written with 2 or more players in mind. Although individual skirmish battles can be fought, the game is designed to be played as a campaign, with the players progressing and developing their Gang from game to game.
Each player’s Gang will likely start as 5 or 6 members. The two “starter” gangs have 5 and 6 respectively, although players can and are encouraged to personalise these or create their own Gangs.
Each game within a Campaign may have one of a number of objectives, most commonly to gather Loot of variable value, which can be used in between games. Other objectives can be to capture buildings, or even out and out grudge matches where the objective is simply to destroy the enemy Gang. Winning an individual campaign game gives that Gang control over a territory. The ultimate aim of the campaign may be to control specific territory, or entire areas. Some territories also convey bonuses when captured, such as cheaper rare items or an income from “tax” or protection payments.
During each individual game each player has 3 Event Cards which can be played at any time, regardless of whose turn or phase it is. A further card is taken at the beginning of each turn, though players may only keep 3 at a time. Each turn, players alternate phases, acting with 1 Gang member each phase. A Gang member may normally perform 2 Actions – such as moving, shooting, fighting hand-to-hand, hiding in cover, or Waiting and Watching. Whilst Waiting and Watching, a Gang member does not act during their own phase, but may fire during an enemy’s phase should they move within the line-of-sight of the watcher. This mechanism, along with increased cover by using a “Hide” action, the various cards and their effects, and the various skills of the different Class types, allow for a variety of tactical play. Sharpshooters, if they have progressed up their Talent Tree and acquired the required ability, may be able to fire twice in one action if their first shot is a hit, whilst Scouts with the Quiet ability receive a significant advantage when attacking enemies from behind.
In this picture we can see that two members of “The State” Gang are making the bets use of the cover available to them by “HIDING”, indicators by the tokens placed by them. The Sharpshooter behind also has tokens – these denote that the Sharpshooter is in “WAW” – Waiting-and-Watching mode, allowing him to interrupt the other players turn and fire if he moves within range.
As well as Sharpshooters and Scouts, there are the Assault Class, who benefit in Hand-to-Hand combat, Medic Class and Leader Class. The Medic Class can attempt to revive fallen comrades. Leader characters are unique in the game in two respects. Firstly, they may act 3 times instead of twice, and secondly they may give Orders to other characters, which, if successful, mean that the character receiving the Order may Act again outside of their own phase.
Each Gang member has stats for Toughness, Speed and Skill, but the real variety between them comes from the weapons and abilities they utilise. The game includes comprehensive rules and stats for most ranged weaponry, from crossbows to Submachine Guns, each having their own ranges and variable scores required on 2d6 To Hit. Submachine guns, for example, are highly damaging at close range, and therefore require a relatively low score to hit with, whilst sniper rifles do less damage overall, but can hit targets from considerably further away with ease.
Unlike many other game systems, the higher the difference between the score rolled and the score required has a direct effect to represent how good a shot was scored. A score of 12 when only 7 was required considerably reduces the chance that the hit character will survive, by decreasing the amount they would normally need to score UNDER, which is the character’s Toughness, by, in this case, 5.
The complete rules for Across the Dead Earth contain all the rules to play the game as described above, character profiles for 17 characters (the two starter Gangs and 5 mercenaries), weapon statistics, rare item profiles and information, Talent Trees, an example campaign and advanced and detailed rules on movement, terrain, hand to hand combat and in between game play. The game mechanic is simple enough that we have been able to teach numerous people to play the game “as we go along” but detailed enough that they should be able to answer any question that might arise. Unlike some game systems, which suggest players improvise or come to an agreement between themselves about that which is not covered fully, we want to provide the answer to those questions. What would happen if, instead of going down this ladder, I jumped? Can I move past that player if he’s in a doorway? Can’t I just smash the window and climb through? Rules for these rarely occurring incidents don’t need to be remembered, but can be looked up in the Advanced section if desired.
The rulebook is available now both as a print book and as a downloadable PDF.
Buy PDF Rules for only £5.00